After weeks of waiting, it’s finally happening — former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen will be testifying publicly before the House Oversight Committee this Wednesday. Ahead of his appearance, NBC national security reporter Ken Dilanian shared some details he’s gathered about what will transpire during an appearance on Morning Joe this Monday.
According to Dilanian, Cohen is coming well-prepared — after all, the testimony was supposed to transpire some time ago. At least in part in light of his own past credibility problems, he’s coming with “documents” to support his account of issues like the infamous hush money scheme he helped Donald Trump with targeting women with whom the president had affairs.
He has previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress about the scope of negotiations to construct a Trump Tower in Moscow, agreeing to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and turning his stance dramatically around.
‘I’m told Cohen has been prepping with this for a long time, and he knows he’s got credibility issues, so he’s coming with documents, and he’s got very detailed, sordid and, what [his attorney] Lanny Davis has described as chilling stories of what how the president conducts himself behind closed doors… We shouldn’t underestimate how powerful seeing a Trump insider who has been with Donald Trump for more than 10 years telling these stories before the glare of the television lights.’
Trump and Cohen have completely broken off ties with each other at this point, so there’s little in the way of personal loyalty holding him back, which Cohen has blamed for his past transgressions. Last year, he insisted that his loyalties rested with his family and even country above Donald Trump, and the president eventually dismissed him as a “rat” as if Trump’s a wannabe — or actual — mob boss.
Cohen has already shared plenty about Trump’s private dealings. For instance, he’s shared about how Trump dismissed black people as “too stupid” to vote for him after the lawyer commented about how white one of his rally crowds looked during the lead-up to the 2016 elections.
Years before that, he says, after South African leader Nelson Mandela died, the eventual president ranted to Cohen:
‘Name one country run by a black person that’s not a shithole. Name one city.’
Cohen has also had plenty to share about the president’s private activity that could possibly get him in legal trouble. He told a federal court that he pushed or helped push illegal hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal at Trump’s repeated, specific urging. Those payments constituted serious federal election law violations that have helped land Cohen a three year jail sentence.
Cohen has also been reported to have shared information about the Trump family business with New York-based prosecutors recently, meaning that the president’s team could be in for more possible legal exposure. The House Oversight Committee is expected to question Cohen about the Trump business, Dilanian says.
One thing the lawyer is not expected to discuss is the Russia investigation, since Mueller’s probe, which he’s cooperating with, is ongoing.
However, the scrutiny most certainly does not end there.
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